God secures our identity and then out of that calls us toward proper activity.
This order is of massive importance because in no way are we to understand that our identity is secured by our activity. Salvation is by grace, not works. James 1:26-27 is very similar in its feel. To cap off the past weeks blogs I want to tell you about a moment in the Protestant Reformation.
After Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses and was condemned by the Catholic church, there was a meeting held in Heidelberg to further examine his views. Luther was invited to present his doctrine, and this meeting came to be known as the Heidelberg Disputation. What Luther said in this meeting is what some consider to be the most beautiful statement he ever made. After a brief introduction Luther said this to his examiners, “God’s love does not find, but creates, what is pleasing to His sight.”
You see what he’s saying there. God does not search throughout the world for those who are pleasing to His sight, for those who are doing good works enough to merit His graceful eye. No, God doesn’t find anything but sin when looks through the earth, He doesn’t find holy people, He finds wretched people. When He saves us, He then creates out of us and in us and through us, what is pleasing in His sight. This is what the gospel does. God creates true religion in the hearts of His true people.